United now has breathing space to steady the ship

If anyone was looking for any positives to come out of Manchester United’s visit to Anfield they will be disappointed. There were none! A 1-3 defeat never is especially when it’s inflicted by their biggest rivals and follows the loss to Chelsea just a few days earlier. Nani’s first half injury together with woeful defending completed a miserable afternoon for Sir Alex Ferguson who must now use every bit of experience to get his side to regroup. The only thing that can be said is that the horrid run of four successive away matches in eleven days has finally come to an end.

If anyone was looking for any positives to come out of Manchester United’s visit to Anfield they will be disappointed. There were none! A 1-3 defeat never is especially when it’s inflicted by their biggest rivals and follows the loss to Chelsea just a few days earlier. Nani’s first half injury together with woeful defending completed a miserable afternoon for Sir Alex Ferguson who must now use every bit of experience to get his side to regroup. The only thing that can be said is that the horrid run of four successive away matches in eleven days has finally come to an end.

United now has the relative luxury of six clear days before facing three matches at Old Trafford starting with the sixth round FA Cup tie against Arsenal next weekend. It may also be worth noting that both defeats this week occurred at exactly the same stage of the season as the last time United lost back to back matches two seasons ago. This was without doubt a major setback but a three point advantage over second placed Arsenal, who has a game in hand, still remains. It can be said that United are still in control of their own destiny but just as he did in 2008-09, Ferguson must steady the ship – and fast

Liverpool 3 v Manchester United  1

The Telegraph – English football’s fiercest battle won, the march of their oldest enemies to the grandest of prizes staunched. The visit, the defeat of Manchester United proved the most auspicious of days for Liverpool. The sort of day to salute a legend, and the sort of day to anoint a new hero. It was not, though, as it was supposed to be, Andy Carroll, the club record signing who made his debut for the last 17 minutes.

It was not that grizzled old dog of war Dirk Kuyt, scorer of a hat-trick of tap-ins. This was Kenny Dalglish’s birthday party. And it was Luis Suarez’s coming of age. The Uruguayan may not have scored – though George Sefton, the voice of Anfield, rather kindly awarded him the first – but he chose this stage to give the kind of display that forges reputations. The sort of display that makes wearing Dalglish’s old shirt that little bit easier. Full Report

Liverpoolfc.com – Dirk Kuyt netted a superb hat-trick as a rampant Liverpool defeated Manchester United 3-1 on Sunday afternoon. The Dutch forward became the first Reds player to complete a treble in the fixture since Peter Beardsley back in 1990 as Kenny Dalglish’s men put their old rivals to the sword.

The hosts dominated throughout a fiery clash in L4 and they took the lead on 35 minutes when Kuyt touched home from close range after some sublime approach play by Luis Suarez. The No.18 was revelling in his role alongside the Uruguayan and doubled his tally just moments later when he took advantage of a Nani error to thump a header beyond Edwin Van der Sar. Full Report

Manchester Evening News – Liverpool gained the bragging rights over rivals Manchester United with a 3-1 victory at Anfield courtesy of Dirk Kuyt hat-trick. Javier Hernandez scored a consolation goal in injury time for United, who have now suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats. United’s misery was compounded by an injury to winger Nani, who was taken off after a crude challenge form Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.

Liverpool’s deserved victory may not ultimately prevent their arch-rivals surpassing the Reds’ 18 league titles at the end of the season. It has, however, dented Sir Alex Ferguson’s side’s hopes of a straightforward run-in and at the same time restored some pride for the Reds after two defeats at Old Trafford already this campaign. Full Report

Liverpool Reina, Skirtel, Carragher, Aurelio (Kyrgiakos 24), Johnson, Lucas, Gerrard, Rodriguez, Meireles (Carroll 74), Kuyt, Suarez (Cole 88) GOALS – Kuyt (34, 39, 65)

Manchester United – van der Sar, Rafael (O’Shea 76), Smalling, Brown, Evra, Scholes (Fletcher 84), Carrick, Giggs, Nani (Hernandez 43), Rooney, Berbatov GOAL – Hernandez 91m)

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